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Policy

Senators Want Energy Funds Only For U.S.

by David J. Hanson
March 8, 2010 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 88, ISSUE 10

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Credit: Shutterstock
Debate is raging over job creation from wind energy projects.
8810gcon_turbinecxd_opt.jpg
Credit: Shutterstock
Debate is raging over job creation from wind energy projects.

Several senators have written to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner urging him to halt the spending of stimulus money on renewable energy grants. Their argument is based on reports finding that most of the funds doled out so far have gone to foreign manufacturers. For instance, a study by the American University Investigative Reporting Workshop says that 73% of the $1.9 billion spent for wind energy grants went to foreign-owned companies, according to a letter signed by Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.). The senators say that funds from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 are subject to the “Buy American” provision of the law, so the grant money should be spent in the U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu questioned the conclusions of the report, noting that even if wind turbines are built abroad, the projects still create U.S. jobs in construction, engineering, and transportation.

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